Oh, How Sylvester Can Pester!: And Other Poems More or Less About Manners

Overview

Robert Kinerk pokes fun at what can happen when good manners are neglected. From Eleanor Ickity who is served nothing that she likes to eat or Sylvester who can pester and pester and pester, this charming cast of characters will warn the ill mannered about the consequences of their shameful behavior.

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Overview

Robert Kinerk pokes fun at what can happen when good manners are neglected. From Eleanor Ickity who is served nothing that she likes to eat or Sylvester who can pester and pester and pester, this charming cast of characters will warn the ill mannered about the consequences of their shameful behavior.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This neatly crafted collection of etiquette poems covers all the traditional juvenile sins: interrupting ("When someone is speaking—a grown-up, let's say—/ can you interrupt? In general, no way"); talking during movies ("There ought to be armies of top-notch, trained booers/ protesting those loudmouths disturbing us viewers"); and chewing with one's mouth full. Kozjan's manners-minders are both diverse and retro; there's a distinctly Hilary Knight feel to his bespectacled, necktie-wearing dads. Oddly, the real manners problems of the day—cellphones and texting—go unmentioned. Nevertheless, it's a sterling performance. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—Twenty funny poems address etiquette questions that kids can relate to, such as when to say "excuse me," when it's okay to interrupt adults (for example, when a swarm of insects has descended upon your friend), or how to go about shaking hands. Digitally rendered illustrations complement the poems with a relatively diverse cast of animated cartoon characters politely and not so politely (sometimes gleefully so) trying to interact with one another. Whether it's used to introduce a lesson on manners or just as a fun read-aloud, the book does not disappoint. The poems are remarkably similar in terms of language, rhythm, and content. All rely on end rhymes but do so without creating a singsong effect. Long, winding sentences require readers to speed up, especially while reciting the poems aloud, often stopping for breath only after uttering what becomes the punch line. Interestingly enough, the title poem is perhaps the weakest, and in general, the selections that feature a single named character are not as effective as the more interactive second-person poems. The first and final poems deliver a simple message that kids can carry with them even if many other details are forgottenPreparatory School, New York City
Kirkus Reviews - Kikus Reviews
Manners in meter. Kozjan uses bright and cheerful figures with exaggerated expressions and gestures to illustrate Kinerk's verse. The poems range from longer advisories in multiple panels to brief expositions with many spot images to full-panel spreads that reflect the waggish humor of the words. The poet never loses his light touch: Verses about cleaning one's room, coping with getting the giggles and talking (not) at the movies get their points across. Some children are presented in narrative, like Chuck who takes a bath before he polishes his shoes, with inevitable results, or Eleanor Ickity, whose dislike of almost any foodstuff ends with her grossing out her parents with a plate of corn and chocolate sauce. Then there's Egbert, who tends to drop his clothes everywhere, leaving him with not a stitch, er, behind. Kinerk slips the idea that good manners are really about being nice to each other in general. He doesn't overtly quote the Golden Rule (Do unto others, etc.), but it underlies all the fun. Readers would do well to learn from the example of Claymore B. Tate, who is so refined that he cannot help but correct everyone else at table: "Manners aren't lists of the things you should do. / Manners help folks becomeeasywith you."(Picture book/poetry. 5-8)
Kirkus Reviews
Manners in meter. Kozjan uses bright and cheerful figures with exaggerated expressions and gestures to illustrate Kinerk's verse. The poems range from longer advisories in multiple panels to brief expositions with many spot images to full-panel spreads that reflect the waggish humor of the words. The poet never loses his light touch: Verses about cleaning one's room, coping with getting the giggles and talking (not) at the movies get their points across. Some children are presented in narrative, like Chuck who takes a bath before he polishes his shoes, with inevitable results, or Eleanor Ickity, whose dislike of almost any foodstuff ends with her grossing out her parents with a plate of corn and chocolate sauce. Then there's Egbert, who tends to drop his clothes everywhere, leaving him with not a stitch, er, behind. Kinerk slips the idea that good manners are really about being nice to each other in general. He doesn't overtly quote the Golden Rule (Do unto others, etc.), but it underlies all the fun. Readers would do well to learn from the example of Claymore B. Tate, who is so refined that he cannot help but correct everyone else at table: "Manners aren't lists of the things you should do. / Manners help folks becomeeasywith you."(Picture book/poetry. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416933625
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
  • Publication date: 3/8/2011
  • Edition description: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,060,971
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Kinerk is the author of Clorinda, illustrated by Steven Kellogg, which was an IRA Children's Book Award Notable Book, and about which Booklist said in a starred review, "Much applause for Clorinda."
Mr. Kinerk grew up in Alaska and has worked as a journalist and playwright. He now lives with his wife, Anne, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Drazen Kozjan is an illustrator and animator. He helped to develop, design, and storyboard numerous successful cartoons including The Neverending Story, Rupert the Bear, Franklin the Turtle, and George Shrinks, among many others.

He is also the illustrator of Diary of A Fairy Godmother by Esme Raji Codell and the Julia Gillian series by Alison McGhee. Visit him online at http://www.drazenkozjan.com/

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